Psychological Screening for Patients Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery

Development 

Questa is a team of experienced chartered practitioner psychologists with expertise in psychological assessment, case management, therapy and supervision. We offer a number of bespoke projects in these areas based on the brief provided by our clients.   

We were tasked with developing a psychological screening tool for a leading hair restoration surgery practice.  *We realised very soon that although there appears to be widespread concern within the industry and a recommendation to screen patients, there is no standard means currently available to clinics - some have developed their own screening tools and some do not screen at all. Our client wanted us to develop a protocol that allowed them to outsource this function to an expert partner so that they could be reassured that they were following an ethical pathway and could focus on delivering their service to patients. 

Our expert clinical team created a psychological screening tool adaptable to the field of appearance related procedures. Based on NICE guidelines and Clinical Observations for Psychologists and Psychiatrists Working with Cosmetic Practitioners, this tool has been successfully piloted in vivo for over 5 months.

 

What it does

Our psychological screen helps in exploring the expectations and goals of the clients, which consequently can reduce the probability of dissatisfaction and distress for the client and for the clinic.  

 

The role of the psychologist is not to make the decision, however recommendations can be provided for a suitable referral pathway process based on the results of the screen if needed. 

The current questionnaire takes the client about 15 minutes to complete online and contains quantitative and qualitative questions designed to:

 

  • Gather information about the potential psychological and wellbeing benefits to the client of the proposed procedure

  • Highlight any areas of potential concern or issues that could impact negatively on treatment outcomes

  • Flag any mental health issues that could mean that the patient would benefit from increased support or even therapeutic intervention (such as severe depression, anxiety or body dysmorphia issues). 

Long term possibilities 

Gathering such a base of information means, excitingly, that we have the potential to conduct longitudinal follow up analysis of effectiveness and treatment outcome.

 

Areas of questioning 

The following categories are addressed:

 

  • Expectations of treatment

  • Goals of treatment

  • General well-being

  • Self-image

  • Distress and anxiety

  • Social comparisons

  • Avoidance behaviours and impact on behaviour 

  • Impact on confidence and wellbeing

 

The beauty of such a bespoke vehicle is that it can be tailored to the needs of your clinic, gathering further information about patients as needed.  

The process:

The first step is to meet you to find out what specific requirements for screening you have based on the kinds of surgical procedures being carried out.  

 

We will produce a proposal incorporating your tailored questions. 

 

A specialist psychologist and case handler will be designated as the prime point of contact and will manage your referrals.

 

There is an upfront set up cost and then the service is charged per patient screened.

 

Streamlined procedure:

We turn around responses within 48 hours so as to minimise delay in initiating treatment for the client.

  1. The clinic advises the patient that Questa will be contacting them with a wellbeing questionnaire and obtains their consent.

  2. A client record is created on our GDPR compliant secure portal. 

  3. A secure questionnaire is sent to the patient as a smart/online form using a two-step verification procedure for added confidentiality.  

  4. The completed questionnaire is returned securely and appended to the patient’s Questa record.  Scores are analysed. 

 

An individual psychological report is produced giving: 

  1. A summary of the scoring, 

  2. Indicators of any areas of potential concern for the clinic. 

  3. Analysis recommendations, 

If needed, the Consultant can discuss the individual results with the psychologist and request further investigation.  If further support is needed, we can arrange access to Questa’s team of experienced clinicians who provide a comprehensive range of specialisms and evidence-based treatment methods.

If you would like to book a meeting with our team to discuss how this might work for your clinic, please contact us by clicking the link or calling us direct. 

 

 

*According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), approximately 27,000 procedures took place in 2020. Given the growing demand, there are calls for further regulations of professionals conducting cosmetic surgery to ensure patients’ overall well-being. The BAAPS emphasises the need for psychological well-being assessments along with the standard physical and other assessments that their surgeons carry out.